We’re always on the lookout for the best travel credit card offers here at EPOP. The landscape of credit card rewards programs is constantly shifting, with exciting new offers launching all the time.
Therefore, when we heard that Capital One had improved their Venture card, we were naturally interested. And after taking a look at the card, we’re now more confident in recommending it than ever before.
Below, we’ll take a look at everything the Capital One Venture card offers to travelers, including the current sign-up bonus and other exciting perks. This way, you can decide if it’s a card worth adding to your wallet.
Capital One Venture At a Glance
If you’re just looking for a brief overview of the Capital One Venture, here are some key facts:
- Credit score required: Excellent
- Annual fee: $95 (waived for the first year)
- Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening the card.
And here are some of the card’s key benefits:
- Unlimited 2x miles on all purchases: No matter what you buy with the card, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend.
- $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: When you use your Venture card to pay your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee, Capital One will reimburse you up to $100.
- 10x miles on select hotel bookings (limited time offer): When you use your Venture card to book a hotel through Hotels.com, you’ll earn 10 miles for every dollar you spend. Offer expires January 31, 2020.
- No foreign transaction fees: Wherever your travels take you, you’ll never pay foreign transaction fees for using your Venture card.
To learn how to apply for the Venture card, visit this page.
Want to learn more? Read on for an in-depth look at the Venture card’s benefits:
6 Awesome Capital One Venture Benefits
The Venture card has always been a solid pick for travelers, but the card’s benefits are now more compelling than ever. Here are the most important benefits Venture cardholders get:
1. Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles
After you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the card, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles. 50,000 bonus miles are equivalent to $500 of travel (or 1 cent per mile), according to Capital One.
In practice, the value of these miles will vary based on how you redeem them. You have a few options:
- Redeem directly through Capital One for travel purchases you’ve made in the past (this is called “erasing” travel purchases).
- Book hotels, flights, and rental cars directly through Capital One’s travel portal.
- Redeem your miles for cash back or gift cards.
- Transfer miles to travel partners (though generally at a reduced value, as we’ll discuss below).
2. Earn 2x Miles on All Purchases
With a lot of travel credit cards, the number of miles/points you earn depends on the category of the purchase you made. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, for instance, lets you earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining, but only 1 point for every dollar you spend on other purchases. And with some travel credit cards (such as the Amex Platinum), the categories can get even more complicated.
With the Capital One Venture card, earning miles is simple. You get 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make, regardless of what it is. This makes the Venture card a good pick if you don’t spend a lot on anything specific but still want to earn travel rewards.
Ready to apply for the Venture card? Learn more about it here.
3. Get 10x Miles on Hotels Booked Through January 2020
For a limited time, Capital One has partnered with Hotels.com to offer Venture cardholders a special deal. For any hotel booking you make through Hotels.com, you’ll earn 10 miles per dollar spent.
This offer expires January 31, 2020, so be sure to jump on it while you can. Note that you don’t have to stay in the hotel before January 31, 2020. You simply have to book the hotel before then. Learn more about the offer here.
4. Get a $100 Travel Credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
In a move that’s clearly meant to compete with other travel credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum, Capital One Venture cardholders can now get up to $100 credit when they use their card to pay the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
If you’re not familiar with these programs, TSA PreCheck allows you to go through an expedited security line at the airport, saving you both time and the hassle of taking off your shoes and removing your laptop from your carry-on bag.
Global Entry is a program that allows you to go through expedited customs and border control when entering the United States. It also includes TSA PreCheck, so we highly recommend you just apply for Global Entry if you’re considering either program.
The application fee for TSA PreCheck is $85 (good for 5 years), while the Global Entry program has a $100 application fee (also good for 5 years). With your Venture card, however, you’ll get a full reimbursement (up to $100) for the application fee to either of these programs.
Again, because the reimbursement is capped at $100 and Global Entry includes PreCheck, applying for Global Entry is the best way to maximize this travel credit.
5. Annual Fee Is Waived for the First Year
Normally, the annual fee is $95. This is already quite reasonable for a travel credit card, but the deal is even better for first-time cardholders. If you’re approved for the Venture card, the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
6. No Foreign Transaction Fees
This is true across all of Capital One’s cards (and most travel credit cards), but it’s still a perk worth mentioning. Regardless of where in the world you travel, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees to use your Venture card.
What Credit Score Do I Need for Capital One Venture?
According to Capital One’s website, you’ll need a credit score of “Excellent” to qualify for the Venture card.
You could still get approved with a lower score, but it can be more difficult. If you’re not sure, you might as well apply. The worst thing that can happen is that Capital One won’t approve your application. And even then, it’s possible to appeal the decision by calling the company’s reconsideration line.
Is the Capital One Venture Worth It?
Given all of the above information, is the Capital One Venture card worth getting? We think it is, provided the following are true:
- You already have a Chase Sapphire card.
- You don’t plan to transfer miles to travel partners.
1. You Already Have a Chase Sapphire Card
We recommend getting the Venture card after you have either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred. This way, you can take advantage of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program first (which offers better value when transferring points to travel partners, as well as better travel benefits overall).
But if you’ve gotten all the bonuses you can for Chase cards, then the Venture card is a good way to earn another sizable sign-up bonus and diversify the travel rewards programs you participate in.
2. You Don’t Plan to Transfer Miles to Travel Partners.
The biggest downside of the Venture card is that you can’t transfer your miles to airline partners at a 1:1 rate. Instead, miles transfer at a rate of 2:1.5 to most airline rewards programs (and as low as 2:1 for some travel partners). This means that your miles will generally lose 25% of their value when you transfer them.
For instance, if you transferred 10,000 miles from your Capital One account to most of their airline partners, you’d only get 7,500 miles/points in the account you transferred them to.
In rare cases, it can still be worth it to transfer your miles if you can find a travel partner with especially valuable miles/points. That is, you need to find a case where you can get more than 2 cents of value for each point that you transfer.
According to an analysis from CreditCards.com, this will be the case with the following Capital One travel partners:
- Aeroplan (2 miles are worth 2.25 cents when transferred)
- Avianca (2 miles are worth 2.55 cents when transferred)
- Etihad (2 miles are worth 2.1 cents when transferred)
- Singapore (2 miles are worth 2.36 cents when transferred)
(If you’re curious about how the math behind these valuations works, I recommend checking out this guide).
Overall, however, the best way to use the miles you earn with your Venture card is just to redeem them directly through Capital One’s system. This way, 2 miles are worth 2 cents (a 1:1 ratio) as opposed to 2 miles being worth less than 2 cents (which will be the case when you transfer miles to most Capital One partners).
Start Earning Miles with the Venture Card Today
The Capital One Venture card is a solid pick for earning additional rewards miles, particularly if you’ve already maxed out the bonuses for other rewards programs such as Chase Ultimate.
While it doesn’t offer the best value when transferring to airline partners, the current partnership with Hotels.com makes it an appealing time to sign up for the card. And in terms of its other travel benefits, it’s still a competitive travel rewards card that we’re happy to recommend.
To learn more about the Capital One Venture card, visit this page.